Canadian Cyclist


August 26/12 18:06 pm - Vuelta a Espana - Stage 9

Posted by Editoress on 08/26/12

Gilbert is a winner again, Rodriguez increases his lead

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) won his first race of the 2012 season at the top of the hill of Montjuich in front of the Olympic stadium of Barcelona. In a thrilling finale, last year's world number 1 rider rode away in the climb with local hero and race leader Joaquim ‘Purito' Rodriguez. They kept the momentum until the finishi line, located 3.4 kilometres after the summit. Gilbert outsprinted Rodriguez who (still) increased his lead on GC. Thanks to the time bonus, the Catalan rider from Katusha enjoys 53 seconds advantage over Chris Froome (Sky), one minute over Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) and 1:07 over Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) who finished three seconds ahead of his rivals.


Philippe Gilbert wins stage 9 - Photo: Graham Watson


Javier Chacon (Andalucia), Martijn Maaskant (Garmin-Sharp), Bert-Jan Lindeman (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Mickaël Buffaz (Cofidis) opened the road for most of the stage. They got a maximum lead of 5.20 after 20km of racing. But the big battle was scheduled for the climb up to Montjuich. Contador launched the attack but made his move too early and it turned out being a duel between the last two winners of the Flèche wallonne.

Philippe Gilbert:
"It's been the hardest part of my career"

What's your major feeling after this victory?
I'm very happy. Finally I've won. It's been more or less one year since I last won a race. It's been the hardest part of my career. I can say that I've never given up. I've worked hard. I've never ceased to believe in myself, thanks to the support of my family, my friends and fans. The BMC team kept their faith in me too.

Did you have a plan for this stage?
I was aware that those riding for GC would fight for time bonus again. When Purito attacked, I knew that I absolutely needed to go. He's the world's best rider for this kind of finale. He's very explosive. Together, we didn't raise any question. We cooperated very well.

Will you be more relaxed in your lead up to the world championship ?
The Cauberg is harder and more complicated than Montjuich. It's very different. The world championship is a one-day race. This victory will increase my confidence and the pressure as well. Now everyone will say that I'm the hot favourite. In Valkenburg, I'll have to be at 100% of my possibilities and totally focused. But there's about one month to go and I want to win another stage of the Vuelta before that.


Stage 9: Andorra to Barcelona. 196.3 km
1 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team 4:45:28
2 Joaquim Rodriguez (Esp) Katusha Team at s.t.
3 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:07
4 Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:09
5 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Radioshack-Nissan
6 Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar Team
7 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat all s.t.
8 Gorka Verdugo (Esp) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:12
9 Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
10 Igor Anton (Esp) Euskaltel - Euskadi
11 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
12 Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre - ISD
13 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
14 Alberto Losada Alguacil (Esp) Katusha Team
15 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
16 Daniel Moreno (Esp) Katusha Team
17 Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
18 Eros Capecchi (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
19 Andre Fernando Cardoso (Por) Caja Rural
20 Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team all s.t.
145 Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJ-Big Mat 3:56
1 Joaquim Rodriguez (Esp) Katusha Team 34:44:55
2 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling at 0:53
3 Alberto Contador (Esp) Team Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank 1:00
4 Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar Team 1:07
5 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 2:01
6 Daniel Moreno (Esp) Katusha Team 2:08
7 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale 2:34
8 Igor Anton (Esp) Euskaltel - Euskadi 3:07
9 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 3:18
10 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 3:27
11 Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre - ISD 3:40
12 Eros Capecchi (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale s.t.
13 Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 3:43
14 Sergio Luis Henao (Col) Sky Procycling 3:54
15 Winner Anacona Gomez (Col) Lampre - ISD 3:58
16 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin - Sharp 4:00
17 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 4:02
18 Steve Morabito (Sui) BMC Racing Team 4:29
19 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Radioshack-Nissan 4:32
20 Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team 5:24
145 Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJ-Big Mat 1:03:13


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